You’re in this training, helldiver, because you’ve requested solo missions. Maybe your friends are knuckleheads and try to get you killed. Maybe you don’t have any friends. I don’t know why you think you’re a lone wolf, and I don’t care. I’m here to make sure you have what it takes to hit those scumbag aliens in the face with the fist of democracy! Long live Super Earth!
Don’t get distracted, maggot! I like your zeal, but that won’t keep you alive! Memorize these principles, and you just might survive. I made them easy to recall so that when you’re panicking, that sorry excuse you have for a brain might still remember.
I’m going to break it down for you, but before you go questioning these principles – and some wannabe heroes always do, especially that last one – let me tell you where they came from. Sun Tzu. That’s right, they come straight from the author of the Helldiver Handbook itself. You’d have known that if you’d bothered to read it, but I’ve yet to meet a rookie who doesn’t think reading is for chumps. Guess what, now you’re the chump.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
Clean out your ear holes and get this: you will always be outnumbered. You will always be surrounded. If you want to live, study the battlefield. Pull up your minimap whenever you have breathing room! Use it to avoid enemy patrols whenever possible, don’t be a hero.
Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of the forest.
I hope you’re in good shape, soldier, because if you’re not running democracy weeps at your slowness. Do you want democracy to cry, soldier? Start by running 43.4 miles a day without fail. Running means you can complete those objectives faster and leave those alien abominations in the dust.
The art of using troops is this:
……When ten to the enemy’s one, surround him;
……When five times his strength, attack him;
……If double his strength, divide him;
……If equally matched you may engage him;
……If weaker numerically, be capable of withdrawing;
……And if in all respects unequal, be capable of eluding him,
……….for a small force is but booty for one more powerful.
Remember what I said earlier? No? Think, maggot! You will always be outnumbered. You will always be surrounded. A tactical retreat is not cowardice, and if you think so, you’ll end up as Bug breakfast faster than I can eat a flank steak. And I eat fast. If you ever get outnumbered, book it out of there. As soon as you’ve got some distance, turn around and let ’em have it! They start getting closer, retreat again. And if they’ve dropped in some heavies, there’s nothing wrong with letting them go to waste as you hit the next objective.
Now that we’ve got the basic principles down, let’s talk gear.
|Your default perk on every mission except for Snow planets or Retaliation Strikes.|
|This always replaces Cardio Accelerator on Snow planets and is an acceptable alternative for Forest planets.||Terrain Specialist Pack|
|This should be your first option for Retaliation Strikes. You won’t have any breathing room, so the faster your stratagems come in the better.|
|An acceptable alternative for Retaliation strikes as it vastly reduces the amount of time you are vulnerable. Some helldivers prefer it on regular missions too. Go ahead, but if you’re letting the enemy close enough to touch you, you’re no lone wolf of mine.|
Self-sufficiency is the lone wolf’s bread and butter. Or meat and barbecue sauce. The less you have to reload, the more constant damage you can dish out. There are other instructors who’ll give you alternative methods, but as Sun Tzu says:
Infinite ammo is hard to beat
As long as it doesn’t over heat.
Are you going to argue with Sun Tzu? Didn’t think so.
|The lone wolf weapon of choice. While not standard issue, the Sickle provides exceptional burst damage and you will never run out of ammo as long as you don’t let it overheat. Don’t let it overheat, soldier!||Support Pack|
|The standard issue alternative to the Sickle. Preferred over alternatives because it allows you to be self-sufficient and open up a stratagem slot for something other than ammunition.|
|Some lone wolves swear by the Justice, and it does pack impressive firepower and armor piercing when fully upgraded. This is an acceptable alternative if you prefer not to use beam weapons, but remember to equip the Resupply stratagem.|
|There’s no reason to replace the Peacemaker as when fully upgraded it will kill light enemies very quickly, but it must be fully upgraded to be useful.|
These are your priority stratagems, helldiver. Feel free to mix and match as you like – sometimes I like to bring an extra turret if there’s no fixed emplacements to destroy.
A word of advice. The most useful stratagems are going to be those that you can use multiple times, otherwise you’ll inevitably find yourself without a paddle when you need it most. Don’t believe me? Ask our friend Murphy.
|While this is not standard issue, it should be! A Mk. 3 Humblebee will reveal concealed objectives and show you where all those juicy samples are. Time is money, and the Humblebee will save you plenty of both! Except for the part where you need to requisition it yourself from the quartermaster.||Ranger Pack|
|This should be your personal anti-tank weapon of choice. Some helldivers prefer the Recoilless Rifle, but because of how long it takes to wrestle with the reload I prefer the EAT-17. And remember, this is for emergencies only! Use your noggin! Run from those heavies.|
|You’ve got no one watching you’re back when running lone wolf, so when you’ve got to get to work defusing ordnance or starting a geological survey, these auto-turrets have your back. They’re most useful shutting down enemy patrols approaching your position, and rapidly become less useful as the heavies drop in.|
|The Shredder has two uses: destroying enemy fixed positions that usually require a Hellbomb or clearing a force too large for you to handle. The Hellbomb just takes too long to drop when going solo, you need to keep moving and this lets you finish the objective as you’re sprinting by.|
Sometimes the priority stratagems don’t fit the situation you find yourself in. Although let’s be honest, soldier, any situations you can’t handle are probably your fault, and Sun Tzu would have some choice words for you.
Nevertheless, these are worthy alternatives to the first list, and can be mixed and matched as you need.
|If you’re not using a beam weapon (the Sickle or Scythe), this is mandatory…which is why most lone wolves use beam weapons.|
|Sometimes it’s better to bring the firepower with you. Exosuits significantly slow you down, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Be careful to call this in only when required as it only has one use.|
|A good alternative for the Minigun Turret, as it can take out heavies pretty quickly. Don’t combine with exosuits, or you’ll find yourself blown to smithereens before you can say “smithereens”.|
|This should be standard issue, but it’s not. If you’re braving those Retaliation Strikes, bring a few of these along – don’t be afraid to pack more than one. Slowing down the enemy will buy you precious seconds, and strip those damnable shields from the Illuminate scum for you as a bonus.||Entrenched Pack|
You’ll notice I used a slightly different loadout than the priority recommendations – I was experimenting. So sue me.
Super Earth doesn’t make more expensive gear available to you until you’ve proven yourself, as I’m sure you’ve found out! Don’t waste those upgrades on weapons you’re never going to use. Experiment all you want, but these are my recommendations for your starting upgrade paths.
- ‘Humblebee’ UAV Drone – the faster you upgrade this, the more time you can save collecting each of those sweet, sweet samples, which means more upgrade points more quickly!
- AR-19 ‘Liberator’ – your standard issue assault rifle will bear you in good stead until you unlock the LAS-5 ‘Scythe’. If you’re blessed with deep pockets or parents with deep pockets, skip this and go straight to the LAS-16 ‘Sickle’
- P-2 ‘Peacemaker’ – you’ll be spending plenty of time ferrying briefcases full of important documents (classified, may I remind you…looking at them is a Class A offence). A fully upgraded pistol will give you a good chance of survival, as long as you can aim.
- A/MG-II Minigun Turret – the minigun turret will provide excellent support at the beginning of your career, and remains useful even as you tackle completely overrun planets. Don’t overlook it.
After these, you should have experimented with plenty of the other recommended items – choose your favorites and upgrade those.
Enemies of Super Earth
The enemies of democracy must be destroyed, but while they obviously lack the intelligence we do, don’t make the mistake of believing them less deadly. Here are some reminders for you, since you’ve already admitted you didn’t read the Helldiver’s Handbook.
- Bugs – almost all of these mindless creatures can be put down with some well placed bullets, but be sure to equip the EAT-17 to destroy the fully-armored Behemoth. It’ll take two hits, or you could kill everything else and smush it with a drop pod. Because the Bugs don’t require much heavy weaponry, they’re a good enemy to cut your teeth against.
- Cyborgs – many Cyborgs are heavily armored, so bring heavy weaponry. The EAT-17 is effective, but you may find yourself wanting something with more shots…the EXO-51 ‘Lumberer’ Exosuit (available for purchase through the quartermaster) is very useful as an alternative stratagem. The Railcannon Turret is recommended over the Minigun Turret.
- Illuminates – heavy weaponry is of limited value against the Illuminate. Their shields will deflect shells and rockets, so it’s recommended to avoid bringing the EAT-17, Railcannon Turret, or Recoilless Rifle. The EXO-48 ‘Obsidian’ Exosuit (also available through the quartermaster) is highly effective vs. Illuminates, although the universally available EXO-44 ‘Stomper’ Exosuit works very well also. Bring down their shields with a hail of bullets, and their weak bodies will quickly fall. Exosuits are better than turrets, as Illuminate Hunters will make short work of static emplacements from long range – but Minigun Turrets can still be of some use on less overrun planets.
Well, helldiver, you’ve completed your training. You’ll receive your lone wolf badge tomorrow, once the paperwork goes through. You’ll encounter other solo combat doctrines out there, and they all have their merits. I myself am a cautious man, preferring to outmaneuver the enemy and lure them into traps with fixed emplacements. Others may preach the virtues of more offensive techniques – those work too.
Find the one that fits your style best. If this one doesn’t, you’ll still be a lone wolf, but please return the badge – I have to order them from the quartermaster, you know.
Another thing – I’m always looking to improve this training for future helldivers, I welcome suggestions based upon your experiences. Survive enough missions and I might even respect you enough to listen.
Now go spread some democracy. As Sun Tzu said:
Every bullet is a vote. Every true citizen votes as often as he can.
Released: March 3, 2015 | Developer:Arrowhead Game Studios
Platforms: Windows, Playstation 3/4/Vita | On Steam